New Mexico Lions Eye Foundation

The New Mexico Lions Eye Foundation (NMLEF) was formed in 1995. In 1996, a matching grant of $40,000 from LCIF permitted the Foundation to purchase a 34' motor home specifically designed and compartmented for use as an eye screening vehicle. Delivery was taken of the vehicle on November 2, 1996 and thereafter equipment was installed to permit eye screenings. The first screening was conducted in Albuquerque on January 25, 1997. Under the NMLEF constitution, each screening must be sponsored by a Lions Club in Multiple District 40. In fiscal year 2000-2001, a contract was entered into between the Foundation and the NM Department of Health to provide certain services for diabetics and in return receive reimbursement of expenses.

SCHEDULING A SCREENING

When a Club decides to sponsor an eye screening which will require the use of the Van, several things must occur. First, the Club must contact PDG Lee Boyd Montgomery, MD40 Screening Coordinator (505-466-0468) to determine if the date is open. Once an open date has been confirmed, a form will be sent to the requesting Club from NMLEF which will specify the location, date, time, identity of the professional(s) who will be conducting the eye screening, and other information. The Club must promptly submit the required form to NMLEF for the screening to occur. Next the Club must secure the services of a qualified professional (Ophthalmologist or Optometrist) to perform the actual eye examinations. Qualified personnel to take blood pressure, pulse, and glucose levels should be arranged for if diabetes screening is to be done. The van is completely equipped to perform visual acuity, inter-ocular pressure, and dilated or undilated eye examinations. No Lions or individuals should set up medical equipment unless they have been properly trained (certified). Lions and volunteers should help with set-up and tear-down for the screenings (tables, chairs, forms, etc). Plans should be made and carried out for publicity about the screening so as to maximize the effectiveness and completeness of the Club’s efforts.

Lions should remember the van was purchased and is maintained by NM Lions Clubs. While it gets about six miles to the gallon and is expensive to maintain, the greatest waste is to leave the Van sitting unused. A screening event, while being a valuable community service effort, provides great exposure for your Club. Please ask your Club to consider doing a screening. Also, please remember the NM Lions Eye Foundation in your Club's budget.